Posted: 18 February 2020

Introducing the world of runners, pebbs and tings to the clergy in Wales

Modern slavery is commonplace in the UK and it doesn't only involve those who are exploited and trafficked from overseas. The number of British people identified as modern slavery victims has surged by 72 per cent in a year, fuelling concerns about 'county lines' drugs gangs and other forms of labour exploitation.

We work across the country to raise awareness of the exploitation of young people and support those who have fallen victim to criminal individuals and groups. 

Alice from our Prevention Team recently spoke at an anti-slavery training day in Wales where she educated clergy members on the world of runners, pebbs and tings. She tells us how it went...

'Set my people free' anti-slavery training day

The purpose of the day was to recognise modern slavery and human trafficking as exploitation against men, women and children, while asking what the Chuch in Wales can do to help.

I was one of four speakers who spoke at the training, and the only one to cover the exploitation of children.

Stepping into the shoes of the child

During my talk on child criminal exploitation and county lines, I spoke about signs and indicators, the grooming model and what the churches can do to safeguard children.

I encouraged the audience to think about situations a child had been in, and behaviours the child had been presenting. The audience then had to place which stage of the grooming model they believed the child to be in. This really got them thinking about the children they work with, and how they would react should they be in a situation where they had concerns.

Are the clergy now clued up on the world of runners?

Reactions to the presentation have been really positive. Learnings from the day have already been shared across the clergy's networks and social media channels.

Many of the clergy were shocked to discover that the nationality of the highest number of children trafficked in the UK is in fact, British. Local case studies hammered home the fact that modern day slavery is on the doorstep, even in rural parts of Wales.  

Any child can be a victim of child criminal exploitation, no matter their background or where they live. This day helped spread awareness of our work in areas where we don't have a huge presence but where exploitation still exists. 


By Alice Mercer

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